San Diego cityscape and skyline

Why We’re Passionate About Bringing More Solar Power to San Diego

If you’re thinking about adding solar power to your San Diego home, you have a lot of choices when it comes to hiring local solar panel installation companies. So, what makes Semper Solaris different from the rest? First and foremost, we’re committed to offering our customers unparalleled service and the highest quality solar panels on the market.

However, what really gets to the heart of our company is our passion for the San Diego community, our support of local veterans, and our commitment to help San Diego County and California retain its role as a renewable energy and environmental leader in our country.

Veterans Hiring Veterans

Unconditional Surrender Sculpture at seaport in San Diego

San Diego is a military town, and it isn’t just because we are home to top military bases, including Camp Pendleton, the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar, and the naval bases in Coronado, Point Loma, and San Diego (homeport of the Pacific Fleet). Even after completing their service, many veterans make San Diego their long-term home.

According to the U.S. Census, approximately 230,000 veterans live, play and raise their families in San Diego County. That’s the third-highest number of veterans by county in the entire country! Of course, you don’t need to rely on these numbers. You’ll see veterans everywhere: at the grocery store, jogging down the street, and moving in next door. These men and women have a special bearing, a sense of duty, and a fierce patriotism that never fades, even after they leave the service.   

At Semper Solaris, we love that so many veterans live in our city. We are a veteran-owned business and are committed to hiring veterans. Our co-founder Kelly Shawhan proudly served as a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, and knows that it can be challenging for veterans to transition into civilian life. That’s why we make a special effort hire veterans. We are proud of our workforce, which includes veterans from nearly every branch of the service. (Check out this video introducing some of the veterans on our team.)

Military veterans are the backbone of San Diego, a city we love. That’s why we are especially proud to make our city a little cleaner and a little more energy-independent by offering solar power in San Diego. We’d like to think our efforts help San Diego pursue its renewable energy and environmental goals.

San Diego Stays Classy and Clean

California gets a lot of attention for its progressive (in fact, some might call it controversial) environmental initiatives, but we’re a big state, and each local city and county has a lot of control over their own environmental policies. San Diego may not make the headlines as often as our state, but our leaders are committed to lowering our environmental footprint and keeping our diverse county clean and beautiful for its residents.

Solar energy in San Diego is a big part of these efforts. Here are just a few environmental initiatives, programs, and benefits that San Diego residents should know about.

The Climate Action Plan (CAP)

Perhaps the most ambitious local initiative in San Diego is the city’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), which calls for cutting all greenhouse gas emissions in the city in half by 2035. There’s one more little thing that makes the plan stand out: the city also wants to generate all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035.

This is a big goal, but as more and more businesses and homes adopt solar power in San Diego, it seems possible that we can achieve it.

Worker installing solar panels

The CAP program is made of up of many different initiatives to try to achieve this goal, including:

  • Expanding its Green Business Program
  • Supporting residential and commercial environmental upgrades
  • Assisting low-income households with weatherization and energy-efficient upgrades
  • Retrofitting 13,000 to 15,000 streetlights with adaptive “smart” lights

Public Transportation

The city of San Diego isn’t the only one getting into the lower-carbon-footprint game. Throughout San Diego County, you can see efforts to encourage people to drive less. You can’t miss the iconic blue and green Sprinter Trains getting students to college and residents to work. You’ll also notice Breeze buses picking up and dropping off residents all across the county.

As you get closer to the city, you’ll pass city dwellers cruising by on Discover, Lime and Byrd rideshare bikes and hear the Trolley arriving into town. Want to see where these options can take you? Here’s a convenient list of San Diego’s primary public transportation options.  

HOV and Bike Lanes

Even if you have to jump into a car to get to your destination, San Diego County rewards you for carpooling when you can. Most of our major highways include High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes that let you zip past traffic if you’re carrying passengers. Have an electric vehicle? You may be able to get a special pass to use the HOV lanes to your heart’s content.

When you can, San Diego makes it safe and easy to switch from four wheels to two. You’ll find dedicated bike lanes throughout the city and the county on most major roadways. No wonder our city is considered a cycling destination!

Solar Energy in San Diego

Solar power in San Diego will play a big role in meeting CAP’s goal of producing 100% of electricity through renewable resources by 2035. Though this goal may seem “pie-in-the-sky,” it may be closer to reality than you think. A report by the Solar Energy Industries Association found that in 2016, solar “added more generating capacity than any other source of energy for the first time ever.”  

To us, that sounds like we’re moving in the right direction! In many ways, San Diego is following California’s lead in pushing for big changes to lower our state’s carbon footprint and combat climate change.

California Leads the Way

Solar panels and wind turbines showcase renewable energy possibilities in California.

California gets a lot of attention for its environmental policies, which are often some of the most progressive and ambitious in the nation. The state is also credited with leading the way for other states to adopt similar policies.

But this wasn’t always the case.

In the 1940s, California was famous for something else – the thick blankets of smog that choked its cities. In response, California got to work. It became the only state to receive a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set its own emission standards. Our state hasn’t looked back since.

Here’s a short timeline of our biggest environmental achievements:

  • 2002 – California becomes the first state to approve new standards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cars, including the requirement for most cars to use catalytic converters.
  • 2006 – California passes AB 32, The California Global Warming Solutions Act, which is hailed as a watershed moment in the state’s history. The bill requires the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
  • 2013 – California institutes a cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon levels. After early stumbles and legal challenges, the program auctioned off 64 million carbon credits in 2017 in partnership with Quebec, which raised billions of dollars for energy programs and the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.
  • 2015 – Governor Jerry Brown signs SB 350 into law, which requires that California receive half its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
  • 2017 – In response to the United States pulling out of the Paris climate accord, California, signs onto the United States Climate Alliance, along with over a dozen other states. The Alliance  commits to reducing carbon dioxide to fulfill the U.S.’s original pledge.

At Semper Solaris, we are proud to put veterans to work and to stand with San Diego to support policies that will ensure a cleaner city and a cleaner state.

Interested in lowering your electricity bill and helping San Diego meet its Climate Action Plan goals? If you are ready to join the movement, learn how to get solar energy in San Diego by scheduling a free energy audit with Semper Solaris.

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